WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to urge the Department of Justice to fully investigate the nature and extent of prisoner abuse and neglect within the private prisoner transport industry.
According to a recent article in the American Bar Association’s Journal, “At least four people have died on private extradition van trips since 2012.” And a recent investigation by the New York Times discovered “a pattern of prisoner abuse and neglect” in the private prisoner transport industry, which the report found involves “[t]ens of thousands of people every year [that] are packed into vans by for-profit companies with almost no oversight.”
“I write today to urge the Department of Justice to fully investigate the nature and extent of prisoner abuse and neglect within the private prisoner transport industry. I further request that the Justice Department detail all federal prosecutions of private sector correctional officers for prisoner abuse during a private prisoner transport and identify the tools it uses to hold executives of for-profit prisoner transport companies accountable for their involvement in any violations of federal civil or criminal laws,” Sen. Booker wrote in the letter.
“It is critical that the Justice Department uncover whether abuse of prisoners and conditions of confinement violations by private prison transport companies and their officials violated laws and regulations within the Department’s jurisdiction,” Sen. Booker concluded.
The full letter Sen. Booker sent to Attorney General Lynch can be viewed here.